This one’s a pretty deep post, but it’s something I think needs talking about. I recently encountered a scenario which brought up some rare feelings about my disability and my attitude to being disabled, and I’d like to discuss those with you.
Those of you who have been following me the last few months will know I am currently job hunting, a process I have written about previously on the blog. In the last couple of weeks, I had a really good telephone interview, and then the interviewer invited me to visit the workplace to work out some possible accessibility issues they could see. This seemed like an entire sensible request, so I headed up to visit. But the visit didn’t go so well, there were indeed accessibility issues which meant that working at that location was a no go for me.
As I was waiting for my train home, I felt angry and frustrated, to the point where I was wishing I wasn’t disabled and I somewhat wanted to rip my legs off and throw them in the nearest part of the canal. That probably sounds dramatic but this kind of situation is rough to deal with.
It’s rough when you’ve been job hunting forever and finally feeling like you’re getting somewhere, only to keep hitting the same roadblock repeatedly.
It’s difficult knowing you have the skills and qualifications for the job and the accessibility is the only issue. I began thinking “I would have that job if I wasn’t disabled” particularly as this was the second time in pretty quick succession that issues with accessibility had been the reason I hadn’t secured a role.
It’s rough trying not to be noticeably angry when interviewers and employers tell you that accessibility is the issue that stops you securing a role, in case you look like a bad potential employee.
It’s rough trying to balance being happy when employers try to come up with solutions to accessibility issues, with being angry because those issues really shouldn’t exist in 2021.
It’s rough trying not to internalise the issue. Trying not to see it as a problem with yourself (like I was doing when I wanted to chuck my legs in the canal) and remember that the problem of inaccessibility lies with the system and society at large.
I hope this shines a light on the deeper problems’ inaccessibility can cause, that we can’t just brush it off as an “oops”. I hope it also shows that I’m not as invincible as some might think, I struggle with these confidence issues around my disability just like everyone else.
Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)